Book Review: Dear Grandchild, This Is Me

On my mom’s side of the family we’ve been so blessed by what we know as “Grandparent Books” – labors of love created about my great-grandparents, grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, telling their stories. These binders are filled with photos, stories (from interviews if possible), copies of awards and achievements, etc. They are amazing and true keepsakes.

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However, not every family has someone willing to go to all that “trouble.” Maybe that describes your family. If that’s the case, Dear Grandchild, This Is Me may be the PERFECT solution. This compact book is FILLED with prompts, questions, places for photos, a family tree, and SO much more that I honestly wouldn’t have thought to ask my parents. And, it will be in the grandparent’s handwriting!

Every page is colorful, thoughtfully laid out, and filled with great content. It’s so much easier to start with a prompt than with a blank page, and they have great questions to answer!

Family history is SO important to document, especially the personal side of it. Stories and wisdom need to be shared from generation to generation, and Dear Grandchild, This Is Me is truly a perfect way to do it. Our children’s grandparents just may be receiving a copy of this in the near future 😉 And, honestly, I want to start filling mine out for my future grandchildren (even though that’s at least 18-20 years from now).

You can buy a copy at most online retailers – here’s the Amazon link.

I took pictures of a few of my favorite pages so you can get a glimpse.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Book Review: The Jesus Who Surprises by Dee Brestin

img_8482The Jesus Who Surprises: Opening Our Eyes to His Presence in All of Life and Scripture is an excellent study – one I enjoyed from beginning to end.

The author looks at the entire Bible to show us glimpses of Jesus where we may not expect to see Him. She masterfully shows that the Bible is indeed one connected story, one of hope, redemption, and love. She also approaches important topics like suffering, and she shows how those things produce a joy like none other (something I know from experience). I thoroughly enjoyed this study and repeatedly found myself excited and encouraged by her words. That isn’t something I can often say.

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

When we realize that the Lord is in control, a peace comes to us, despite the suffering. We realize that this shaking is temporary and that we have an inheritance that can never be taken from us. (Page 123)

I especially loved – and learned from – the third part, looking at Isaiah and what is in store for us. She summed up the whole study so well in the last sentence:

My hope is that seeing this same story from Genesis to Revelation will give you great confidence in the reliability of the Scriptures and the truths they hold. For the Jesus that surprised the two on the road to Emmaus, and surprises us in our everyday lives, is not at all finished surprising us.”

Dee also challenges the reader to see Jesus at work every day – something I’ve practiced for years thanks to missional training I received. He is always at work, you just have to see it. This practice alone can significantly change one’s perspective.

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This beautiful study can be done individually or as a group. Dee provides thoughtful questions to encourage a deeper study of Scripture at the end of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more of her studies.

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I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: “Blessed Are The Misfits” by Brant Hansen

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Have you ever felt like you were alone, like you didn’t fit in? Have you ever wondered why so many people seem to have a different experience in church than you do?

You are not alone.

Brant Hansen, the radio personality and author of Unoffendable (another amazing book), has done it again. He has put into words what so many of us have felt but couldn’t express.

For years I felt like I was failing because I didn’t love evangelism. The thought of talking to strangers about Jesus felt like torture. I wondered if my faith was authentic. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I discovered that I’m actually an introvert, that I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to strangers about Jesus – I didn’t want to talk to strangers at ALL. 

And there is NOTHING wrong with that. Chapter Seven told me so (and the Bible, but still 😉 ).

Brant discusses many aspects of life in which people feel like misfits – things that no one has ever really discussed before. And I think you need to read it. You can order it here!

If you don’t feel like a misfit, maybe you know someone who does…so buy a copy or two to give as gifts. Someone you know needs to read this book, and I bet it’s you.

Book Review: You Carried Me

book cover for You Carried MeWhen I was given the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance, and I’m so glad that I did.

You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden is the incredible story of an abortion survivor and her quest to find answers. She learned about her almost-tragic beginning from her adoptive family and she writes openly and honestly about how she processed this information and how she has used it to encourage other women along the way.

You can see an interview with her here.

I read the entire book in one sitting because I was so drawn in and touched by her life. I highly encourage you to pick up a copy and read it – AND, share it with someone who might need the encouragement that this book provides.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

Book Review: Longing For Paris

It is rare that I pick up a book that speaks directly to my place in life and my current emotions, but this book did just that.

The full title of the book is: Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure-Right Where She Is, and it is filled with wisdom, vulnerability, and joy.

Sarah Mae humbly describes her journey to being content and finding adventures in her own town rather than constantly longing to be somewhere else – in her case, Paris. Her vulnerability and honesty are refreshing and impactful. She gained some amazing insight along the way and I underlined so many full paragraphs throughout the book.

Being a stay-at-home mother (to a terminally ill baby, at that) has often made me feel like I have to put my dreams on hold, like the things I was created to do (missions photography, for example) outside of motherhood will just have to wait. And to some extent they likely do need to wait; but, this book has shown me that there are ways to continue pursuing and refining my God-given desires and longings right here at home.

I don’t have to travel right now to refine my photography skills; I don’t have to travel to become a better writer; if I focus on God and on being content in my circumstances, there are adventures and joy to be found right here, every day, and all of this will continue to prepare me for whatever God has planned for me. This book reminded me that I am called to be where I am right now, and that God has placed these longings in my heart for a purpose, even if I cannot act on them right now.

There is so much more I could say, but I want you to read it for yourself!

Here are a couple of my favorite parts:

‘I want to be who God made me to be: colorful and beautiful and gifted, which brings me pleasure and Him glory…I want to carry myself with confidence in who I am; I want to embrace beauty because God made it. I don’t want to base my identity on physical beauty, because it’s vain and fleeting, but I want to enjoy beauty because it is pleasing to God to have me take pleasure in it.” (p.62)

 “When we look for Him, pushing all hindrances aside; when we aim for and keep our eyes on Jesus, letting nothing compare to Him, then I think we will be fully made available to Him, for Him. And we will change the world because God needs available people to be devoted and dedicated, laid open and vulnerable before Him so that in our weakness He is made strong. His power will come through us, and we will be able to do real Kingdom work, the kind that urges us out of our comfort zones as ourselves. We will be available to be completely used by Him.” (p. 68)

And the last one I will share:

When God wove us together out of dust and love, it was personal and intimate. God did not speak me into existence like He did the sun and the moon and the plants and the animals. He formed me, molding with his hands, and He breathed His breath of life into me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He knows me by name, and He knows every hair on my head. I am not spoken into being. I am created. I am art. I am the artwork of God.” (p. 137)

You won’t regret picking up this book. It is beautiful, insightful, vulnerable, and filled with wisdom. Sarah Mae is a talented writer and shares her heart so openly in her writing – see more of her work here.

Book Review: Love Letters From God

Above all, I want our children to grow up loving God and knowing that He loves them unconditionally. I want them to love reading their Bibles and to live out what The Bible says. Books like this one are going to be perfect in creating that foundation in their lives!

Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist is a fabulous and creative book that brings The Bible to life for kids at their level while still maintaining accurate theology throughout. The author takes the most important stories and tells them in a kid-friendly way that will hold their attention and captivate them.

Each story also contains a flap for them to lift up and under the flap is a letter from God with a space to write their name.

I love this concept and cannot wait for my children to be old enough to enjoy this book!

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review: Barren Among the Fruitful

Infertility is a heartbreaking condition that many women in my life have experienced, or are currently going through. In fact, before we conceived Tori we were wondering if we were ever going to be able to conceive as it took over a year and a half for us to become pregnant. There are so many women who struggle with this, and that’s why I loved this study. It is so relevant and important.

Barren Among the Fruitful is a real, honest look at infertility and is written by someone who knows the pain firsthand. She infuses humor into every chapter by titling them with questions often asked of women.

Amanda uses personal stories from women who have struggled with infertility or miscarriage to create a powerful book that will help women navigate this difficult road.

I definitely recommend this book, and I will be passing my copy along to a friend who is on this journey right now.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.